Invisible hospitality

A friend of mine asked me the other day to describe the future of hospitality in one word. I paused and thought for a moment, and the word “invisible” slipped out of my mouth.

For me, if something is invisible it has an existence; it is just out of sight. This concept is fast becoming the essence of hospitality’s direction moving forward. Invisibility is not manifested in a particular design style, but something intangible you need and something you feel without seeing it.

For example, the reception counter would probably be one of the first things to become invisible as in many hotels, checking in at the counter is already being phased out.

We’re also already moving from switches to smart devices, but sooner or later guests may feel the touchscreen device is still not invisible enough — then what’s next? Today, we still need our cables and adaptors to charge our devices, but perhaps soon we may be able to charge them simply by placing them on the bedside table without plugs and cables.

When it comes to service, I still value the attention to detail and seamless service in restaurants, but taking it to an invisible level is when I no longer notice that my glass is always filled and my napkin folded when I return to the table. It just is.

Luxury isn’t something you see, but rather something you feel — invisibly. It’s the taste of exceptional food, the soft bedding that embraces your body after a day of work and the warmth of your feet on the bathroom floors — all are invisible but memorable.

How can we think of ways to create this invisible luxury in our next hotel?